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Citation Guide (MLA 8th Edition): Religious Texts

How to cite sources according to MLA

Tips

Name of Generic Religious Texts in the Body of Your Paper

Do not italicize or use quotation marks in your paper when referring to a generic religious text. These terms appear without italics or quotation marks when referred to in your paper:

  • Bible
  • Old Testament
  • Genesis
  • Gospels
  • Talmud
  • Qur'an (Koran)
  • Upanishads

Only italicize titles of individual published editions of religious texts (e.g., The Talmud of the Land of Israel: A Preliminary Translation and Explanation, The Interlinear Bible, etc.) when specifically citing them in your paper.

In-Text Citations

The titles of books of scripture are often abbreviated for the in-text citation. For a full list of abbreviations, consult section 1.6.4 of the MLA Handbook.

Bible/Qur'an/Talmud, etc. (All Scripture)

Title.Version. Edited by First Name Last Name of Editor, Publisher, Year of publication.

For in-text citations, use (Title, Version or Editor, Chapter and verse)

 Note: The titles of books of scripture are often abbreviated for the in-text citation. For a full list of abbreviations, consult the Purdue OWL.

Works Cited List Example

The New Jerusalem Bible. Edited by Henry Wansbrough, Doubleday, 1985.

In-Text Citation Example

(New Jerusalem Bible, 1 Chron. 21.8)

   
Works Cited List Example

The  Bible. Authorized King James Version, Introd. and notes by Robert Carroll and Stephen Prickett, Oxford UP, 1998.

In-Text Citation Example

(Bible, King James, Rev. 21.3)

 Note: If you are citing multiple versions of a text, add information such as version, editor, or translator to identify the specific text.

   
Works Cited List Example

The Qur'an. Translated by M.A.S. Abdel Haleem, Oxford UP, 2005.

In-Text Citation Example

(Qur'an, Joseph 12:69)

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